CAT Competition | Australian Maths Trust


Foster lateral thinking and pragmatic problem solving to unearth future talent in computer programming.

CAT will be held on Wednesday 29 April 2020

Australian entries close: 15 April (paper), 22 April (online)
International entries close: 25 March (paper), 22 April (online)
Cost: $6.50 (Aus & NZ)

CAT & OUCC competition Bundle: $10.00 (years 5 — 12)
KSF, CAT & AMC Bundle: $12.00 (years 5 — 12)
CAT & AMC Bundle: $10.00 (years 5 — 12)

The Computational and Algorithmic Thinking (CAT) competition is a one-hour problem solving competition designed to encourage student curiosity and promote multiple modes of thinking.

Neither teachers nor students will need computer programming ability, but the competition will help identify students’ computer programming potential—something that they might not normally have the opportunity to demonstrate.

The competition is an ideal activity to encourage students to solve real-world problems. It is suitable for any mathematics class and the process helps students become more confident as they take on interesting new challenges. 

Download a poster for your classroom!

The competition has a mixture of multiple-choice and integer answers and incorporates unique ‘three-stage tasks’ that encourage students to develop informal algorithms and apply them to test data of increasing size or complexity. The original problems are designed to be quick to solve and highly approachable, and range in difficulty from very easy to challenging. Some questions test the ability to perform procedures, others require logical thought, while the more challenging problems require the identification and application of algorithms.

The CAT has four divisions: Upper Primary (years 5–6), Junior (years 7–8), Intermediate (years 9–10) and Senior (years 11–12). Teachers can register their students below.

This year we are introducing the Oxford University Computing Challenge (OUCC) which is available for students who are talented in computer programming. The OUCC builds on the principles used in the CAT competition and helps students develop their skills further to produce programmed solutions to computational thinking problems. The first round is open to all students who have competed in the CAT. Find out more information about the OUCC here.

Paper and online versions will be available. Register here

The registration system is for teachers only. If you are not a teacher, please contact your teacher and direct them here.

What teachers and students think

Everything about the competition, a guide to running it, instructions for on the day and what to do afterwards.

More information and FAQs about the online CAT competition.

Our competitions and programs empower students to become better problem solvers in school, so they can be creative solution finders in life.

Check out our huge range of maths and problem-solving resources for teachers, parents and students.

Suitable for students in years 3-12, this school-based maths competition reaches a global audience and attracts more than 250,000 entries each year.